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May 16, 2004

Running a 2004 world leader and shattering the SEC and USC school records, junior Lashinda Demus won the 400m hurdles on the last night of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Ole Miss. Overall, USC collected one gold medal, two silver medals and four bronze medals.

The USC women finished fourth with 90.5 points, while the USC men finished 10th with 19 points. Arkansas won the men’s and women’s titles.

“Considering all the things we went through this year we had an excellent SEC meet,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “This is the toughest conference meet in the country and our kids gave incredible performances all weekend. There are so many things to be proud of: Katie Desin finishing third in the javelin, Rodney Martin winning the bronze medal in the 200m, Khalilah Carpenter running in the open events and with the two relays tonight. The whole team is young and they are great kids. We are setting things up to do some special things next year on both sides with performances like this this weekend.:”

Demus ran a 54.50 to win the 400m hurdles, breaking teammate Tiffany Ross’ SEC record of 55.27 set in 2002. Teammate Shevon Stoddart was the runner-up with a personal best 56.12. Freshman Chiquita Martin was seventh at 59.87. All three have qualified for the NCAA regional.

“I messed up on No. 9 and instead of stuttering it, I went over on the bad leg and came down hard,” said Demus, the 2002 NCAA champion. “I am satisified with the personal best but I need to get more strength at the end of my race so I can run under 54 seconds.”

“Her race was phenomenal considering she did not run a perfect race,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye.

Later, Demus ran a 49.9 anchor leg to lead USC to a runner-up finish in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:28.88. She was joined by Stoddart, Smith and Carpenter.

The men were fifth in the 4x400m relay, running a season-best 3:08.81 with Martin, Derron Flood, Shawn Cunningham and Adrian Durant pacing the Gamecock attack.

Rodney Martin won the bronze medal in the 200m, running a season-best time of 20.84 – bettering his NCAA regional qualifying time. His time is the seventh best in school history.

Earlier in the evening, Demus won the bronze medal in the 100m hurdles, running a personal best time of 13.08. Her time improves her NCAA regional time already posted and is the third best time in school history. In the same race, Ronetta Alexander finished seventh with a time of 13.37.

Katie Desin won the bronze medal in the javelin, throwing a personal best and an NCAA regional qualifying mark of 128′ 8.

The women’s 4x100m relay, comprised of Alexander, Whipple, Demus and Carpenter, won the bronze medal with a time of 44.23.

Khalilah Carpenter was fourth in the 200m with a season-best time of 23.53 – the sixth best time in school history. Earlier she was fifth in the 100m at 11.62. Both time are NCAA regional qualifiers. Erica Whipple was seventh in the 100m at 11.68 and then scratched out of the 200m due to injury.

The men’s 4x100m relay, comprised of Greig Cryer, Rodney Martin, Adrian Durant and Tony Allmond, finished sixth with a time of 40.75.

Rhashida Abdul-Malik and Kemesha Whitemire both jumped personal bests to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, in the triple jump. Abdul-Malik’s jump of 42′ 6 was the second best jump in school history and betters her NCAA regional qualifying mark. Whitemire jumped 40′ 8 1/4, also bettering her own NCAA regional mark.

USC’s SEC Scorers on Sunday

W Javelin

Katie Desin – 128′ 8 – third place

W 4x100m relay – third – 44.23

M 4x100m relay – sixth – 40.75

W Javelin

Katie Desin – 129′ – third place – personal best

W Triple Jump

Rhashida Abdul-Malik – 42′ 6 – fifth place – personal best – 2nd best in school history

Kemesha Whitemire – 40′ 8 1/4 – sixth place – personal best

W 100m hurdles

Lashinda Demus – 13.08 – third place – personal best

Ronetta Alexander – 13.37 – seventh place

W 400m hurdles

Lashinda Demus – 54.50 – world leader, SEC and school records – champion

Shevon Stoddart – 56.12 – personal best – runner-up

Chaqutia Martin – 59.87 – seventh place

M 200m

Rodney Martin – 20.84 – third place – personal best

W 100m

Khalilah Carpenter – 11.62 – season best – fifth place

Erica Whipple – 11.68 – seventh place

W 200m

Khalilah Carpenter – 23.53 – fourth place – personal best

W 400m

Stephanie Smith – 52.80 – sixth place

M 4x400m relay

USC – 3:08.08 – fifth place – season best time

W 4x400m relay

USC – 3:28.88 – second place